I recently surveyed our clients about the value we add. I spoke to a wide range of executive contacts from a variety of sectors. What struck me was the common theme that HR was critical in addressing the challenges of business today.
The environment - Today organisations deal with a multitude of customer queries each day, whilst managing complex and dynamic value chains that involve a myriad of organisations, and have to achieve this with a varied workforce often based at remote locations. The risk of conflict, misunderstanding, misalignment, lack of cooperation, and varied performance is high. At the same time they need to constantly improve their proposition and deliver change so as to stay ahead of competition. Success is dependent upon orchestrating a complex set of capabilities in unison and aligned with an overall corporate vision.
What’s needed - The capability gap between the best and worst performing organisations is significant; as is seen in market results. Our clients identified that more successful organisations have specific attributes.
They have purposeful leadership in place – they are creating leaders that can clearly articulate direction, link to organisational values, and remain resilient in the face of complexity. These leaders have the capability to inspire their teams and therefore act as change agents for the organisation as a whole. They have the confidence and permission to take decisions that create value. They make things happen in line with an overall vision. Purposeful leaders create followership in their business.
- They continually build change capability and know how – they invest in leaders and employee engagement to encourage and enable everyone to identify and deploy change. Employees and partners understand the value of change to them and the business, and see change as an ongoing activity. The major inhibitors to change are reduced and therefore continuous change happens. Successful organisations recognise the criticality of the human element of change.
- They have a strategy to reach, retain, and develop talent – they recognise the value, and varying needs of different staff groups such as baby boomers, millennials, and generation z, and have a proactive programme that understands and addresses the needs of the various groups. There is recognition that talent and knowledge are valuable commodities that need development and protection. The programmes demonstrate to colleagues an organisation’s investment in them and are often coupled with innovative to skills development. They tend to attract and retain the best talent with leaders developing from within.
They have employee engagement at the heart of their strategy – they understand the Gallup research around the impact of employee engagement on discretionary effort, business performance, and customer experience. They proactively engage employees in the business direction and values, employees know their impact and contribution to the business, gain feedback and are committed to the direction. They recognise that engagement needs quality leaders across the organisation to maintain alignment and momentum. People feel committed to and part of the plan, and work hard to enable it.
These attributes would normally be led and co-ordinated by HR. Businesses that do not incorporate these considerations into their strategy will struggle to deliver and maintain the level of business change and improvement needed to succeed.
HR therefore needs to be a key element of business strategy and is critical to business success.
Brathay works with a wide variety of corporate clients to deliver leadership, personal, team and organisational change. Contact us to arrange a free change diagnostic session with our team.